August 31, 2014

The Totally Doable, I have a life! Challenge: BEVERAGE

Cheers! It's the last day of August, and final day of the August nail art challenge... Beverage. Kind of anti-climatic... but it did give me an excuse to purchase these cute nail stickers by Kate Broughton.

Unlike nail decals, these are truly stickers. So you can notice the clear film on my nails unfortunately. But, I still think these are super-cute :) 

The base on my nails is OPI My Vampire is Buff

This challenge was super fun! And it got me back on-track with my nail art. Hope you guys liked it as much as I did.

Here's to September, Cheers!!

August 28, 2014

The Totally Doable, I have a life! Challenge: STRIPES (and dots)

Second last challenge day of the month... Stripes! 

Safe to say these photos were taken pre-light box.

This design was inspired by @itsallaboutpolish on instagram

Polishes used: OPI You're so Vain-illa, Do you have this colour in Stockholme, Berlin there done that, My dogsled is a hybrid

August 25, 2014

The Totally Doable, I have a life! Challenge: GUILTY PLEASURE

This was a difficult challenge day. Truthfully my guilty pleasure is food, it's always food. But as I mentioned before, I dislike painting food on my nails... particularly fried chicken, or spaghetti :P

So instead I thought about my go-to nail art when I'm not sure what to do... and it's always animal print. Even though I don't always share my animal print designs with you guys because they're all so similar, today was a little different... 

OPI You're so Vain-illa, Black Onyx, and My Voice is a Little Norse
I used a dotting tool for the full design

I'm excited to see other artists "guilty pleasures". Check out #nailartaug on instagram to see them!

August 22, 2014

The Totally Doable, I have a life! Challenge: SARAN WRAP (Galaxy nails!)

I'm really excited about today's nail art challenge... saran wrap... a nail art technique that, up until today, I hadn't tried yet! :)

And... keep reading to see how I created galaxy nails with the saran wrap technique!

I started with a black base of OPI Black Onyx. Using the saran wrap technique I then applied the following polishes (in no particular order): piCture pOlish Solar Flare, & Aurora, OPI DS Magic, & Nicole by OPI Give me the 1st Dance

To finish off the nail art look I thought I'd add some stars using a nail art brush, dotting tool and OPI Alpine Snow. 

Lightbox with flash
Hope you guys like this design as much as I do, the saran wrap technique is so so easy!! 

Don't forget to check out #nailartaug on instagram for the other designs in the challenge. 

August 20, 2014

The Totally Doable, I have a life! Challenge: TRIBAL

Oh the dreaded tribal manicure... I only get excited about it after it's done haha... although this particular design looks a tad more like easter eggs than tribal (I think it was my colour choice)

Day 7 of the #nailartaug challenge...

Base: OPI You're so Vain-illa
Green: OPI My Dogsled is a Hybrid
Purple: China Glaze What a Pansy

Edit: I used a combination of nail vinyls and freehand work to do the full design

August 17, 2014

The Totally Doable, I have a life! Challenge: FRENCH TIP

Truth be told I'm almost done every challenge day for the August nail art challenge. They're all in my vault waiting to be posted... Which means I'm itching to post them! But I guess that leaves more time in between to do other nail art designs :) 

I created two different manicures for this challenge day, but I hated the first so I went with this one instead :)

The nude is OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons, black is OPI Black Onyx

Sorry for the number of pictures but I think my new lighting set-up is working since I had trouble picking which ones I liked best :)

August 15, 2014

Lightbox and Photography set-up, and my new OTTlite

Creating/Maintaining a successful blog is HARD. As many of you may already know it takes a lot of work. There are many successful bloggers out there that write up full and detailed posts about how to start and build your blog (so thats not what I'm going to do today). I have read as many as I could find and all of them have one aspect in common: A successful blog needs high-quality Photos!

Now "good photography" doesn't have to include some huge lighting set-up and a $$$DSLR camera... in fact, I've seen many popular blogs with amazing photos taken with a simple point-and-shoot camera.

However, good photographs start with good lighting. Some of us are lucky enough to live somewhere with an abundance of daylight hours so they can frequently photograph in natural lighting (which is optimal - even a phone can take decent photos in natural lighting). But I am one of the unlucky few who have limited, and inconsistent daylight hours throughout the year (yay Canada).

As a result, some of my photos are taken in natural light, while others are taken in artificial light inside my lightbox. Which has led to very inconsistent photography on my blog (one thing that has frustrated me for ages!). I have played around with the settings a million times on my camera while photographing under artificial light, to no avail, until I finally realized I needed to fix my lighting situation.... enter OTTlite!

Keep reading to see my lightbox set-up, and to find out where I got all of my products from...

August 14, 2014

The Totally Doable, I have a life! Challenge: PINEAPPLES

Fifth challenge day: Pineapples 

To be honest I wasn't overly excited about this challenge day. I don't typically like painting food on my nails. But... after a whole lot of thought and googling I finally stumbled on a pineapple design (scroll to the bottom of the post) that inspired my own work... 

Yellow: Cult Nails New Day
Black: OPI Black Onyx
Green: Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Grass Slipper
Orange: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed

Apologies for the orange-tinted photographs... 2.5 years of blogging and my photos still aren't consistent when I use my lightbox vs. natural light (no matter how many times I adjust my white-balance/read a hundred tips on photography)...  I have an OTT light on the way which I'm hoping will help.

August 11, 2014

The Totally Doable, I have a life! Challenge: TROPICAL

This post is a couple of days late although I'm back-dating it to fit in line with my archives :)

I also shared this photo on my instagram already so you may have seen it.

For the Fourth challenge entry, the theme was Tropical..

I know, I know, palm trees how incredibly predictable (but seriously, other than that and/or Hawaii Hibiscus nail art, what is there for tropical?)

OPI Get Cherried Away. Gradient also featuring Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow and Sun Kissed. Stamp was some no-name stamping plate that I have had for AGES. I just stamped the single tree on twice :)

I'm excited to see everyone else's nail art for the Tropical theme :) Click on the #nailartaug here or on instagram to see more challenge nail art! (I'm curious to see what unique tropical designs people may have created other than the typical beach/palmtree/hibiscus stuff - even though that's beautiful too)

August 8, 2014

The Totally Doable, I have a life! Challenge: GLADIOLUS

Sad day for me today, my boyfriend had to move back home in order to find work (not many jobs available in Halifax in his line of work) so I'm kinda lonely. I'm spending the day today cleaning/blogging/painting my nails/eating my feelings in order to make myself feel better :P (that also includes trying out a few new polishes that I picked up - gotta love retail therapy)

Aside from all that... today is another day in my instagram nail art challenge, and after googling what the heck a Gladiolus was, I painted this pretty flower... 
Link to the drawing of the Gladiolus

Gladiolus, aka "Sword Lily" 

I started with a coat of OPI Dulce de Leche on all nails other than the accent. For the middle nail I started with a base of OPI Alpine Snow, and using a small nail art brush, painted the flower using: China Glaze Innocence, OPI Dulce de Leche, Cult Nails New Day, Butter London Trout Pout, Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Grass Slipper, and OPI Black Onyx.

This was definitely a tricky challenge day and I'm looking forward to seeing what other nail artists have come up with! :)

August 6, 2014

I matched my nails to my bikini!

I recently purchased this cute floral bikini from Bikini Village and decided that one day I would paint my nails to match. I had a few extra hours on my hands today so I decided to try it out! 

To my shock and amazement I actually think I pulled it off! :) I'm very happy with the final look...

Sorry no bikini modelling for you :P

I used A LOT of polishes for this look (in no particular order):
China Glase: Flip Flop Fantasy (old formula), Four Leaf Clover
piCture pOlish: Honey Dew
Essie: Play Date
Barry M: Cobalt Blue, Cyan Blue
OPI: Alpine Snow, Kiss me on My Tulips, Get Cherried Away

I used various nail art brushes and a small dotting tool to create this look.

And... I did paint my right hand with my non-dominant left... check it out :)

Since my right is my dominant (for writing and other activities) I actually struggle a lot to grow out my index nail, and it most frequently bends inward whenever I try to grow it long.. so unfortunately all the nails aren't exactly the same length/shape on this hand.

I hope you guys like this design as much as I did! :)

August 4, 2014

The Totally Doable, I have a life! Challenge: IKAT

Ironically enough, I started participating in this challenge before I even planned to... For Day 1 (August 1st) I posted a classic french manicure on my instagram account, as Classy as it gets for me :P

When I saw this challenge I immediately wanted to participate :) primarily because I'm excited to try out a few nail art techniques that I have yet to try, and secondly because it has been ages since I participated in any nail art challenge.

Day 2 (August 4) is IKAT, and a first for Kelsie's Nail Files... 

I started with a base of OPI Get Cherried Away. Then painted the IKAT design using a nail art brush and OPI You're so Vain-illa, piCture pOlish Honey Dew, and OPI Black Onyx. 

Hope you guys like my design! :) I'm off to google "gladiolus" for the next challenge LOL